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The Tommyknockers

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  85,886 Ratings  ·  1,615 Reviews
The Tommyknockers is a 1987 horror novel by Stephen King. While maintaining a horror style, the novel is more of an excursion into the realm of science fiction, as the residents of the Maine town of Haven gradually fall under the influence of a mysterious object buried in the woods.

In his autobiography, On Writing, King attributes the basic premise to the short story "The
Mass Market Paperback, 748 pages
Published October 31st 1988 by Signet (first published November 10th 1987)
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Popular Answered Questions

Matt No, I don't believe so -- it is probably too violent and graphic for him to have had purposely written it for his kids.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Michael Rettenmund B ... probably ;-)
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Oct 20, 2014 Stepheny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Let me tell you a story. (Jason, Dustin- you guys have probably heard me tell this enough times you’re sick of it so you guys can skip ahead!)

Many years ago I first read the Tommyknockers. It was a huge brick of a book- a hardcover version no less. I was fascinated with it. I was a new Stephen King fan and after picking up the first book of his I ever read, I had to grab another and another and another.

The Tommyknockers had this great build- up, it was intense, there was so much going on. T
Oct 22, 2012 Dustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read

Prior to going into my second reading of The Tommyknockers, I wasn't sure that I even wanted to read it. Needful Things, Lisey's Story, or The Talisman would have been preferable, as those three novels have been on my mind a lot lately. The only reason I decided to go with The Tommyknockers is because it won the SK group read for September, and I'd never participated in a group read, and wanted to be a part of it.
Having said that, I am so glad that I did!

I finished last night, and what can I
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: King completionists
Recommended to Edward by: Mom
Well, that was unexpected.

First time I read this, I loved the first two-thirds of the book and loathed the last third. This time, it was the exact opposite. I enjoyed the introductions to Bobbi and Gard all right, I guess, but the middle was boring. I almost gave up. In fact, I switched to the audio book so that I could play Minecraft while listening to it. Then, an odd thing happened. I became involved again. (This was after the vagina tentacles.) I started catching reference after reference, a
Mark Lawrence
Feb 20, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This seems to be one of Stephen King's less known and less liked novels.

I really liked it. Not 5* blown away liked, but a good solid 4* really liked.

I think my difference from the majority here is two-fold:

Firstly, I've discovered many people want all of a story to be good. If the end lets it down, they feel the whole book is a waste of time. Well... the end did let it down, but the story itself is packed with good stuff. There were so many scenes, characters, ideas and descriptions that all sho
Dan Schwent
Jun 25, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Bobbie Anderson finds an object buried in the woods that happens to be the tip of an alien craft. After she tampers with it sufficiently, the whole town gradually begins changing into aliens.

A guy I used to work with kept urging me to read this one. He read half of it during a week long stint in the brig while in the navy, then rescued the book from destruction while he was throwing the ship's trash in the ocean a week later. Was it worth it? Hell yes. King novels don't usually affect me but I d
Dec 11, 2007 Laurel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who live in the woods and want to be frightened
Okay, so I may have read this when I was twelve, but I tell you, it fucked my shit up! It's really really long and has violence and intrigue--if you're twelve and you start it in December, you might not finish it until mid-January. The best part was that it was the first book that made reference to location that I had actually been. IT took place in Maine, people, what could be creepier??
This is an underrated classic with possibly the best title of all time. Just say it. Tommyknockers. Awesome.
Well, I just finished The Tommyknockers, and to be rather blunt...I'm disappointed. Really disappointed.

The beginning was good, entertaining, even hilarious at parts. When I got to Book II, it really started to drag for me. And when I mean drag....I just kept saying in my head as I read, "GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" But also, I felt like it was a little all over the place. I consider myself to be one who at least has half a brain (Hell, I have a Master's degree, I would I hope I have
Late last night and the night before,
Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door.
I want to go out, don't know if I can,
'Cause I'm so afraid of the Tommyknocker man.

When Bobbi Anderson goes for a walk in the woods and trips over a small piece of metal, she doesn't know that she has only seconds left to live. Her life will not end, though; it will change in a way that she, a writer of popular westerns, is not even able to imagine. Determined to see what is in the earth, Bobbi starts digging
Dec 31, 2011 Barry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm an unabashed fan of this book. Through and through. In fact, I'd say it's one of the best books of his that I've ever read. Yes, I'm dead serious.

The pace is deliciously slow, building tension in waves and layers, rather than spurts and fits. The cosmic terror is enjoyably vague, yet the nature and logic of its machinations contains some truly eerie implications. And the characters? Don't even get me started...but, since I have already, they're amazing. Not one owner of a name is anything le
Dec 08, 2012 Marvin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Let's face it. Stephen King can't write science fiction.

I'm not even sure why King even thought Tommyknockers needed to be written. It's bad SF and not as all equal to his horror writings. It doesn't dazzle and it doesn't shine. The best thing I can say for it is that it doesn't feature a rabid Saint Bernard.

Update: I might have to change that first sentence. King's 11-23-63 proved that he can write effective science fiction, at least in the speculative history sub-genre. But I still dislike The
Sep 13, 2012 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Even better the second time! I can't believe how many things I'd forgotten since reading it the first time. Very glad I decided to re-read it.
11811 (Eleven)
Mar 17, 2015 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was about 12 years old when this came out. My friend's mother at the time was our personal expert consultant on all things Stephen King. Her opinion of this book was something like "meh." That isn't verbatim but it's pretty close. After that, I read some mediocre or even less flattering reviews in whatever rags I was reading back then - TIME, NEWSWEEK, THE BERGEN RECORD, shit like that. This book went on my permanent not-to-be-read-list. I even skipped the mini-series on TV because the almight ...more
Ruth Turner

Audiobook – Narrated by Edward Herrmann – Excellent narration.


Ebook: Not quite 4**** but more than 3*** So, 3 and a half stars.

The Onion wrote an article claiming that King couldn't remember writing The Tommyknockers. He (King) then admitted that it was actually true, as he couldn't remember writing many novels from the 80s due to his alcoholism, including Cujo.

For me, Cujo was a winner whether King remembered writing it or not. I can’t say the same for The Tommyknockers! Or so I thought.

Jun 25, 2012 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the reason why I no longer give books a chance if they haven't grabbed me in the first couple of pages.
This book is as thick as the bible and goes absolutely nowhere. All I know is the main character bleeds constantly (King's obsession with this woman's menstrual cycle was the most disturbing part of this book), she digs a hole constantly and the other guy character is a drunk; yeah i didn't even bother to remember their names, trust me its not important. Like all of King's novels,
Jun 28, 2016 Kirstin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While out walking her dog one morning, Bobbi Anderson trips over something in her path. What she finds will affect an entire town. Here are their stories...

The Tommyknockers surprised me. I admit to low expectations and the beginning of the book is slow and hard to get into. Once it gets going though this story is exactly what I love about King. Small town, nutty, cosmic horror done to perfection.

Thanks to Daniel for starting a buddy read. I never would have picked this up on my own. What a gre
Thomas Strömquist
I've always loved the Tommyknockers despite it being a less than fantastic book, so I'm probably not the most reliable person to listen to when it comes to it. But, I can try to tell you what I love with it and then tell you why it still doesn't deserve a full five stars in my opinion (oh, I know I'm in a minority putting four of them, but those I stand by!)

Some "spoilers" may be ahead, so if you're sensitive, cover your eyes and/or jump to the last line.

The book starts out really good, with th
Rebecca McNutt
Stephen King has written some great stuff, but there have been several occasions where I've read a book of his that I just didn't find too wonderful. I don't mean, bad, I just mean not particularly good or memorable. Tommyknockers was a book that I kind of liked, but that became very predictable, and instead of using well-crafted horror it started following a path of cheap thrills. It does have some powerful imagery throughout, though.
Oct 07, 2011 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is avoiding a single star merely because of the respect I have for the man and because he always manages to redeem himself with story. But this - out of the thirty or more books I've read by him - is by far the most repulsive instance in terms of its writing. I've never been so heartless in my reading of him. I religiously underlined phrases and sentences that made me cringe, were awkward, unnecessary, clunky. He is - in his own words - the quintessential putter-inner. He seems to love ...more
Aug 21, 2012 Stuart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

People have been complaining about this book because it is apparently so long but I think they fail to see the reason why if this book was any shorter it would lose its impact. Its substantial length is necessary to show the epicness and scale of the developments taking place in Haven and to contrast them to when everything was normal before. Every single town person with a few exceptions is under the influence of the ship and the book needs to do each of these characters justice to
Charlie Collins
May 29, 2016 Charlie Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror

I would like to have sen a little more closure with the ending, but overall, this was much better than what I expected. Not one of King's best but still good.
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
"Late last night and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers knocking at the door. I want to go out, but don't know if I can, cause I'm so afraid of the Tommyknocker man..."

When Maine native Bobbi Anderson trips on a piece of metal sticking up from the woods behind her house she has no idea how much it will change...everything. Despite the fact that it causes her headaches, extreme menstrual bleeding, and her teeth to fall out, she digs...and digs...soon the whole town is affected by what
Sep 15, 2012 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Stephen King, Sci-Fi fans, alien invasion fans
Recommended to Tim by: Goodreads Stephen King group
Shelves: sci-fi, dark-fiction
Tommyknockers was an enjoyable read. The small town setting has been used by King in several books and works well here. There was some parts I felt were needlessly drawn out, but on the other hand I enjoyed the thorough look into the background of both Anderson and Gardener, the two main characters. The book has humor, suspense, and love. Although at times I felt myself drifting away from the story, I knew enough of King's work and was rewarded for my patience.

The book is separated into 3 smalle
Andrew Michael Schwarz
I became a total fan of this book. I don't understand some of the reviews for this book. I would not call this science-fiction anymore than I would call The Stand "fantasy." I would call it a Stephen King novel and basically a horror novel with (if you want to go that far) some sci-fi elements.

I did not find it "too long" at all.

I found this book hilarious, frightening, ridiculous, fascinating and altogether interesting. And suspenseful. You really do want to know what's going to happen, I mean
Aug 28, 2009 White rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dude, I love Stephen King. He is a genius in all aspects of novel writing. His characters are 4 dimensional, he is the master of unique circumstance, his owns his reader in his settings, metaphors, descriptions, name it.

But this book sucked. I can't even think of anything I liked about it. Although the concept of digging up a spacecraft is rich in and on itself, it's like he took a pretty good idea but slaughtered it in every way. I have read a lot of King but this, I believe is his only failure
Feb 13, 2009 Rhain rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oddly, Stephen King gets better as you read more of his stuff, not because it's an acquired taste so much as because he's exceedingly self-referential. Not to the point where he's incomprehensible if you haven't read his other work, but in a more subtle way. Tommyknockers has a ton of little asides and details that call back to It, as the two towns that are their respective settings are next door to one another. Small things you'd never notice if you hadn't read both, but it's kind of fun to pic ...more
Janie Johnson
Sep 17, 2012 Janie Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Hager
This is one of the books that I was most nervous about re-reading. It's one of the longer ones (979 pages, according to Kindle) and about 550 pages on my battered hardback copy. (No, I don't know why there's over 400 pages of difference between the Kindle and physical copies.)

This is the first of the re-reads that has real references to other books in the Stephen King universe. And honestly, that's one of the best things about reading his books: the idea that these are real places and real event
Sep 08, 2012 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. A moderately fun ride but with problems. [No spoilers in this review]

Very long, as a result of many repeated descriptions and minor characters who don't go very far. It was 1900 pages on my reading device.

Not King's strongest writing. Almost entirely narrated as if the character was speaking, meaning lots of pop culture and brand name references, which makes the book feel dated. It also makes it harder to read in places, where you just want to know what's going on, not decipher slang.

He dro
Rhiannon Ryder
After a long and tortuous decision making process, the hubby finally settled on Tommyknockers as my Stephen King book for Giving me the Creeps. I was interested in Salems Lot but apparently that was going to be "too many vampires" when I was hoping to get to the strain as well.

He prefaced handing me the book with "the first 67 pages or so are really dry, but once you get past that it's good". Unfortunately it was more like the first 150-190 pages, sooo the equivalent of a novella worth of mind n
Jul 07, 2015 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand why some call The Tommyknockers bloated but understanding isn't agreeing.

This novel is broken into 3 books. The first and last deal primarily with Bobbi and Gard as they discover and unearth a huge metal object buried in the Big Injun Woods. The middle book moves from Haven resident to Haven resident giving us a peek into how the object is affecting the rest of the village.

It is usually this middle book that people say is bloat. I know the story could have stood on its own without
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
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“Late last night and the night before, tommyknockers, tommyknockers knocking on my door. I wanna go out, don't know if I can 'cuz I'm so afraid of the tommyknocker man.” 59 likes
“He remembered waking up once, listening to the wind, thinking of all the dark and rushing cold outside and all the warmth of this bed, filled with their peaceful heat under two quilts, and wishing it could be like this forever.” 16 likes
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